Transforming soil into construction materials: Bauer Resources obtains QUBA certificates for Hamburg soil treatment center
Hamburg, Germany – When it comes to recycling, most people think about reusable bottles, waste separation or maybe even upcycled tote bags. But they don't think about excavated soil, tons of which is generated at construction sites every day and disposed of as waste. Yet it is also possible to process some of this for use as an alternative construction material. BAUER Resources GmbH has been doing just that for multiple years at its location in Hamburg, and now is the first company in the Hanseatic region to obtain QUBA certificates for quality-assured soil material.
When soil is no longer waste
But what is behind the QUBA quality seal? First and foremost, the German Alternative Construction Material Ordinance, which prohibits the reuse of any non-certified mineralbased alternative construction materials since August 2023. With the certificates for material classes BM-0, BM-F1 and BM-F3, the soil treatment center in Hamburg now has it in cold print: "We are allowed to sell the recycled soil in compliance with the quality criteria," explains Thomas Drews, Head of Disposal for the North region at BAUER Resources GmbH. The certificate thus represents a turning point where soil is transformed back into a valuable raw material. This is long overdue. After all, resources are scarcer than ever these days. And the situation is only intensifying.
Filter first, please!
Before the soil material can be reused, it must go through a sophisticated treatment process. At the soil treatment center in Hamburg, this all happens under one roof – and from a single source. The disposal specialists transport the soil material from the sites into the 4,500 m2 treatment hall, where it undergoes various treatments depending on the material class. "Larger fractions >20 mm are separated by a flat deck screen, while our brand-new drum screen system is used for the production of the fraction 0-3 mm," remarks Kathrin Hagemann, Manager of the Hamburg soil treatment center. The final product is an unmixed, valuable alternative construction material with the highest level of quality. The main customers are primarily network operators who use the acquired material to fill in pipeline routes or as a protective layer around underground electrical cables.
Towards a sustainable futur
In practice, this means: Every material that is reused does not need to be produced – which is perfectly in line with the circular economy. This conserves valuable raw materials, and the excavated soil does not be disposed of. This markedly reduces the consumption of site and landfill resources. The Hamburg soil treatment center is therefore a pioneer for sustainable solutions, both in the region and within the company itself. "We aim to further expand our capacities in this area and also certify other sites according to the QUBA standards," says Head of Disposal Ulrich Morgenstern from BAUER Resources GmbH in conclusion.